Roasted baby leeks with thyme

Roast Leeks

Serves 4

  • 20 baby leeks

  • olive oil

  • red wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. I like to serve 4 or 5 baby leeks per person, depending on their size. Lightly trim both ends and peel back the first or second layer of leaves and discard. Drop the leeks in a pan of boiling salted water for 2 to 3 minutes to soften - this is called blanching. Drain them well (if there's too much water in them they won't roast properly) and toss in a bowl with a good lug of olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar, the chopped thyme leaves and the garlic. Arrange the leeks in one layer in a baking tray or earthenware dish and roast in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes until golden and almost caramelized. Keep your eye on them - I've seen many chefs burn baby leeks when cooking them this way and it drives me mad!

Nutritional Information

Roasted baby leeks with thyme

A lovely late-spring to summer side

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Baby leeks have a lovely sweet flavour and when roasted become beautifully caramelised
Serves 4
20m
Super easy
Method

Baby leeks are just small leeks and there are two things that are exciting about them: a) the fact that they haven't had the time to develop many green leaves or the fibrous structure that can sometimes make them stringy, and b) they're definitely sweeter. For me, they signify late spring to summer cooking. The purpose of quickly boiling them in water and then roasting them, as I've done in this recipe, is to make them deliciously soft and then to caramelize them so they develop a robustness that makes them wonderful served over or next to fish and meat. They will also add an interesting flavour to pastas or soups. When I have friends round for dinner, I do everything in the method below in advance apart from roasting them, so all I need to do is flash them in the oven for 10 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. I like to serve 4 or 5 baby leeks per person, depending on their size. Lightly trim both ends and peel back the first or second layer of leaves and discard. Drop the leeks in a pan of boiling salted water for 2 to 3 minutes to soften - this is called blanching. Drain them well (if there's too much water in them they won't roast properly) and toss in a bowl with a good lug of olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar, the chopped thyme leaves and the garlic. Arrange the leeks in one layer in a baking tray or earthenware dish and roast in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes until golden and almost caramelized. Keep your eye on them - I've seen many chefs burn baby leeks when cooking them this way and it drives me mad!

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Nutritional Information Amount per serving:
  • Calories 74 4%
  • Carbs 3.2g 1%
  • Sugar 2.3g 3%
  • Fat 5.5g 8%
  • Saturates 0.8g 4%
  • Protein 1.8g 4%
Of an adult woman's guideline daily amount

BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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